Jason W. Stevens has an interesting article up at the Federalist Papers called Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today Show How Far American Educational Standards Have Declined that looks at the quality of reading assigned to kids today versus 100 years ago. Take a look at these two lists.
It seems that the difficult level has gone down and more concerningly the age of the works has gone right down. As Jason observed, most of the books assigned 100 years ago were 50 – 100 years old but the new list, with a couple of exceptions, is all less than 20 years old. This is a concerning trend, give it a read.
There’s a delightful and true saying, often attributed to Joseph Sobran, that in a hundred years, we’ve gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching remedial English in college.
Now comes even more evidence of the steady decline of American educational standards.
Last year, Annie Holmquist, a blogger for better-ed.org, discovered a 1908 curriculum manual in the Minnesota Historical Society archives that included detailed reading lists for various grade levels.